October 6, 2022

How a social media challenge is changing the lives of ALS patients

In recent weeks, social media has proven how powerful of a tool it can really be. A new drug for the treatment of ALS has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, one that can extend a patient’s life by five to six months. A main contributor to this feat is the 2014 viral video sensation, the Ice Bucket Challenge. Students can look to the Ice Bucket Challenge as an amazing example of how to use social media to make a positive and meaningful change in the world. 

Many of us remember the summer that the Ice Bucket Challenge made its way around the world– maybe some of us even recorded a video of ourselves getting doused in ice water– all in the name of raising funds for ALS research. Those who participated were truly using their mics for good and helping the ALS Community make huge strides toward finding a cure.

Social media sometimes gets a bad rap, but it can also be an exceptional way to do good and provide students with an avenue to make a difference in their communities, both at home and across the world.

How a social media challenge is funding a new FDA-approved drug

Relyvrio, developed by Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, was recently granted FDA approval. The drug is not a cure for ALS but does slow down the effects– a large step in the right direction for ALS research. 

The Ice Bucket Challenge, championed by Pat Quinn and Pete Frates, contributed to this success, with $2.2 million going towards funding Relyvrio. Students who participated in the challenge may not have realized the impact they were making at the time, but this simple social media challenge changed the trajectory of ALS forever

Over 17 million people posted an Ice Bucket Challenge video in the summer of 2014 and raised over $115 million for the ALS association. This money has since helped fund 130 research projects over the span of 12 different countries, as well as 40 potential treatments that are in development. 

More ways social media has made a lasting impact for good

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is far from the only example of people using social media for good. Social media has also been instrumental in raising awareness for causes like the #MeToo Movement and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. 

The #MeToo movement started on Twitter and helped ensure states such as New York, California, and Illinois implemented mandatory sexual harassment training in the workplace. #BlackLivesMatter evolved from a hashtag to an activist movement and organization that now is changing and shaping America’s view on race today.

Whether it’s ALS, #MeToo, or #BlackLivesMatter, would you have known about these movements without social media?

TSI’s take on the viral video challenge

Viral challenges like the Ice Bucket Challenge reminds us that when we use social media in positive ways, it can be a powerful tool to make a difference in the world or in our own communities. At The Social Institute, we encourage students to use their mic for good by using social media as a microphone to amplify their voice and create meaningful change. 

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a perfect example of using your mic for good as people from all around the world identified a problem they cared about, participated in a thoughtful and fun campaign, and gained more understanding of ALS while raising money that would go on to help change many people’s lives. 

If you want to learn more about how The Social Institute can empower your students to use their mic for good and more, contact us today for a personalized demo. 

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.